How Many Golf Clubs Should A Beginner Have? (And Which Ones)

If you’re a beginner golfer you might not want to go out and spend a fortune on a full set of golf clubs. The good news is that you don’t need an entire set to get started and in this post, I’m going to be talking about how many clubs you should have and the ones I’d recommend you start with.

If you’re a beginner golfer, you should start with 10 golf clubs. You can golf with a fairway wood, iron, and putter, but you’re going to want to learn how to use more clubs if you want to be able to handle every situation. You’ll eventually want to get a full set, but if you start with the essentials, you’ll have a solid foundation to work with.

You can always buy a complete set for fairly cheap or you can piece together clubs. It’s completely up to you but I wanted to talk about the essential clubs I think you should get started with. These are the most important in my opinion and then you can add additional clubs as you go. Continue reading to see the clubs you should have in your bag.

If you had to downsize your bag, what clubs would you have to have and why? Let me know in the comments below.

5 Wood

If I could only pick one club and my choice was between a driver, 3 wood, and 5 wood, I’d pick the 5 wood all day long. A driver will go the furthest but it’s not as versatile and you won’t be able to hit it off the fairway. With a 5 wood, you can hit it off the tee and you can use it on the fairway.

I think most people will be able to have more accuracy with a fairway wood and that’ll help you keep the ball in play. Most beginners will slice or shank their driver two fairways over and that’s never fun.

I know a few people who never use their driver and I actually used my 5 wood instead for a while because my driver was so inconsistent. You’ll eventually want to get one but I don’t think you need one at the beginning. Here are the best fairway woods for average golfers.

4/5 Hybrid

The next couple of clubs I think you should add to your bag are hybrids. They’re actually my favorite clubs to hit and I think you’ll have a much easier time hitting a 4 hybrid compared to a 4 iron (more distance and height).

I struggled for a while with my longer irons and that’s why I switched to hybrids. They were instantly better for my game and that’s why I continue using them to this day. They can be used off the tee, in the fairway, and out of the rough.

A 4 hybrid is going to be around 22 degrees and is designed to replace your 4 iron. Most people will have a hard time getting height and distance out of their 4 iron and that’s why the hybrid was created. They’re also way more forgiving.

I also think you should get a 5 hybrid instead of a 5 iron. The reason is the exact same as with the 4 iron and I think you’ll be able to hit it much better. You’ll have more forgiveness, more distance, and you’ll be able to launch it much higher. Here are the best hybrids for average golfers.

6-9 Iron & Pitching Wedge

The next thing you’ll want to do is grab an iron set that comes with a 6, 7, 8, and 9 iron as well as a pitching wedge. These are pretty standard for all levels of golfers and are going to be extremely useful for your shorter shots.

Most iron sets are going to come with 5 clubs and a lot of them will also come with a 3, 4, and 5 iron. You can use those if you want but I’d still recommend you grab a couple of hybrids.

There are a number of different irons out there and they are NOT all created equal. The same goes for the woods and hybrids but it’s more important to pick the right irons. Some will have zero forgiveness at all and you’ll really struggle with them. Some are straight forgiveness and you won’t be able to grow into them. Find something in the middle. Here are the best irons for average golfers.

56 Degree Wedge

The next thing you’ll want to get is a wedge. These are clubs that are used for shots close to the green, when you’re in the sand, or when you need to hit a really high shot. They come in all sorts of lofts but the most common are 52, 56, and 60 degrees.

I’m going to recommend you grab a 56-degree sand wedge because it’s in the middle and will give you the most bang for your buck. You can grab a 52 and 60 degree later on but they aren’t needed when you’re first starting out.

Your irons and pitching wedge aren’t going to have enough loft in certain situations. If you’re on the edge of the green and want to hit it high and have it bounce a couple of times, you’ll need to use a lofted wedge. You’ll also need one to get out of the sand. Here are the best wedges for average golfers.


The final club that you absolutely need is a putter. It’s going to be pretty tough to putt the ball with your wood, hybrid, or irons and it’s the club you’re going to be using the most throughout your round.

Putting is actually the most important part of your game and it’s what’s going to make or break your round. If you’re not a very good putter it’s going to be almost impossible to make birdie, let alone par. Get a putter and get good at using it.

Putters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a putter but just make sure you’re comfortable holding it and it helps you with alignment.

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Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

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